Volkswagen, the world’s second largest automaker, did not provide a reason for the diss to exit.
The number of electric batteries Volkswagen sold nearly doubled in 2021 to nearly 453,000 globally, putting it third only to Tesla and General Motors in selling pure electric vehicles — most of the latter’s sales came from a Chinese joint venture. Volkswagen outperformed all other automakers, including Tesla, in European electric vehicle sales at 310,000.
Tesla still sells more than twice as many pure electric cars as VW in 2021 – and electric vehicles accounted for just 5% of VWs sold last year – but the shift in focus under Deiss has been important to the company’s future plans.
“Herbert Diess has played a key role in driving the company’s transformation. The group and its brands are viable for the future; their innovation capabilities and earning power have been strengthened,” said Hans-Dieter Buch, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, in a statement. . “He has not only steered the company through extremely turbulent waters, but also implemented a fundamentally new strategy.”
But it wasn’t all rosy. While Volkswagen may be way further behind most traditional automakers in its planned switch to electric vehicles, it has fallen further behind Toyota in the race for total vehicle sales — a key metric in the sector.
Toyota last year recorded total sales of 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, surpassing Volkswagen by more than 1.5 million. Before the pandemic in 2019, Volkswagen outstripped Toyota by 200,000 vehicles with 10.9 million vehicles sold.
As part of the management change, Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz will become chief operating officer.
CNN Business Peter Valdes Dabbana contributed to this report.
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